The University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club is sponsoring a Michigan Song Lyric Contest to commemorate the University’s bicentennial in 2017. The contest — open to all University students, staff, faculty, alumni or retirees — aims to add a new Michigan song to the performance group’s Michigan-themed repertoire.

According to the Men’s Glee Club contest page, the lyrics should reflect the club’s foundation of “tradition, camaraderie and musical excellence,” as well as a love for the University. The winner will be awarded $1,500 and the song will be performed by the club in 2017. The accompaniment to the lyrics will be composed by Composition Prof. Kristin Kuster, who will be the first female composer to write a Michigan song for the Men’s Glee Club.

Already in the club’s Michigan song catalog are UM staples such as “Varsity” and “The Victors.”

Men’s Glee Club President Patrick Kiessling, a senior in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, said this contest, while promotional for the Glee Club, also serves a higher purpose of getting involved with the festivities honoring the 200th year of the University.

“It’s a way for the Glee Club to be able to contribute to the University-wide celebration of the upcoming bicentennial anniversary,” he said.

The contest closes Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

As the University’s bicentennial celebration approaches, the University Bicentennial Office and organizations such as the Glee Club, Central Student Government and Center for Campus Involvement are all celebrating the 200-year University tradition with a variety of displays of school pride.

The Bicentennial Office has already announced plans for outdoor festivals for spring, summer and fall, as well as themed semesters for LSA. According to a press release from the Bicentennial Office, the festival exhibitions will be interactive and will “encourage hands-on engagement.”

In the winter 2017 semester, the bicentennial theme will be “Making Michigan” and will focus on the founding of the University and how far it has come. The fall 2017 semester theme “Michigan Horizons: The Possible Futures of U-M” invites students to participate in a conversation about how large academic institutions like the University will respond to future innovation.

The University, through the Bicentennial Office and CCI, is also encouraging student organizations to get involved with the celebrations. In April, CCI hosted a workshop that helped student organizations plan events for 2017.

Additionally, the Bicentennial Office is planning on granting $300,000 to student organizations that participate and host bicentennial events. Clubs and groups were encouraged to sponsor events catering to the six themes of the year: “serving the people, pursuing ideas, creating and inventing, teaching powerfully, challenging society and forever hailing.”

In response to these promotional efforts, Kiessling said more student organizations should sponsor events and get people excited to commemorate 200 years of the University because the University community has a lot to celebrate and be proud of.

“It’s up to student orgs to find ways to engage current students in the bicentennial activities and celebrations,” Kiessling said. “Rightfully so, the bicentennial is focused on our 200-year history and all the amazing things we’ve accomplished in the past. That also presents a unique opportunity for us to really engage with the present community here at Michigan and contribute to a better future for the University as well.”

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